Former marathon record holder Kipsang banned for four years


Kenyan marathon runner Wilson Kipsang (PHOTO/IAAF/Getty Images)
Kenyan marathon runner Wilson Kipsang (PHOTO/IAAF/Getty Images)

In Summary

  • Former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang, has been banned for four years for whereabouts failures and tampering by providing false evidence and witness testimony
  • The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said the Kenyan’s ban is effective from January 10 2020, the date when he was provisionally suspended

Former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang, has been banned for four years for whereabouts failures and tampering by providing false evidence and witness testimony.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said the Kenyan’s ban is effective from January 10 2020, the date when he was provisionally suspended.

Under anti-doping regulations, athletes have to inform testing authorities of their whereabouts for a one-hour window of every day and three failures — not being present at the said time — within 12 months leads to an automatic ban.

The AIU found that Kipsang had committed a total of four missed Tests and/or filing failures including a missed test on 27 April 2018, a filing failure related to the Athlete’s whereabouts information provided for 18 January 2019.

He also missed a test on 12 April 2019 followed another missed test a month later.

“However, by application of Article 10.7.4(a) of the 2019 IAAF Rules, the anti- doping rule violations committed by the Athlete shall be treated together as one single anti-doping rule violation and the sanction imposed shall be based on that which carries the more severe sanction,” the AIU said in a statement.

Kipsang told the AIU he was unable to update his whereabouts as he was busy in a meeting and did not have the opportunity to change his whereabouts information early enough.

He has also informed that all that was needed for him was a message to his management, who then handled the changes to his whereabouts information.

The AIU said those reasons were ‘poor justification’. Kipsang has the opportunity to appeal the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Kipsang’s management company, Volare Sports, said it would study and analyze the decision of the Disciplinary Tribunal before considering further legal steps.

“Volare Sports and Wilson strongly believe in a clean sport and support anti-doping measures for a 100%. We emphasize that there is no case of use of doping. No prohibited substance was ever found.

“The accusation regarding alleged/attempted tampering (article 2.5) concerned an explanation that was given in the results management process regarding a possible Whereabouts Failure and did not concern tampering with a doping test itself.”

Kipsang, 37, is twice a winner of the London Marathon and has a personal best of two hours, 3 minutes, 13 seconds — making him the equal sixth-fastest man in history.

His time of 2:03.23 at the 2013 Berlin Marathon stood as the world record for a year.

He also won the 2014 New York Marathon and 2017 Tokyo Marathon.

Kenya was among the countries placed on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA’s) compliance watch list in 2016 and Kipsang is the latest Kenyan athlete to be charged with a rule violation.

Over 60 Kenyan athletes have been sanctioned for anti-doping rule violations in the past five years.

They include 2008 Olympic 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop, former Boston and Chicago Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo and 2016 Olympic marathon champion and former London marathon winner Jemimah Sumgong.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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